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Road bikes are more difficult to accurately fit than other bike types, and require a few more measures to hone the fit.  Besides the seat tube length, you need to have just enough horizontal length on a road bike to let you comfortably stretch forward into your pedaling stance.

To obtain your ideal seat tube height (or “size”) for a road bike, multiply your inseam (in cm) by .67 to get C-T length (or by .65 to get the C-C size for your seat tube). If you measured your height and inseam in inches, convert inches to centimeters by multiplying inches by 2.54 (Example: 30 inches x 2.54 = 76 cm).

For the best fit on a road bike, you also need to know your ideal “total reach'” which is the combined length of the top tube and stem. Unfortunately, there are many different ways to convert upper-body measures into the total reach for a road bike.

Here is a general formula you can use from the Lemond System to get an idea of your total reach (use inches for units of measure):

Total Reach = [(Torso Length + Arm Length) / 2] + 4 inches = (Top Tube + Stem)

Saddle height, which is measured from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the bike seat, is another measure that helps you custom fit your bike.Since saddle height is adjustable on road bikes, this measure is not as important at the time of purchase as seat tube length and is not included with bike specifications. However, we have included an approximate saddle height in the table below (based on inseam) so you can use it as a starting point with your new bike.

Road Bike Sizing Table

Ideal Frame Size (C-T Measure)

Inseam (in.) Inseam (cm) Seat Tube (cm) Seat Tube (in.) Saddle Height (cm)
27 69 46 18 61
28 71 48 19 63
29 74 49 19 65
30 76 51 20 67
31 79 53 21 70
32 81 54 21 72
33 84 56 22 74
34 86 58 23 76
34 89 60 23 78
36 91 61 24 81
37 94 63 25 83

Note: Taller riders (over 6’1″) may want to lean toward a slightly larger frame size (approx. 1-4 cm extra seat tube length) when selecting a size based on this table. For example, a tall person with a 36-inch inseam would require a 61 cm seat tube (size 61) based on the table, but might actually prefer a 63 cm seat tube.

Compliments of Sierra Trading Post.  Click here for other sizing charts.

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A headwind will significantly increase your pedaling effort and affect your cycling performance (particularly if you are riding at competitive speeds). Why? The relationship between your effective air speed (ground speed plus head wind speed) and the resistance to pedaling (energy needs to overcome this resistance) is an exponential one. This means that doubling your air speed will MORE THAN double the Calories expended per mile traveled.(This graph visually demonstrates that relationship.) And the graph also shows us that adding a 5 mile per hour headwind to a ground speed of 20 miles per hour has a much greater affect on you total energy requirements per mile than if you are riding at a recreational pace of 10 mph.

Are there any secrets to dealing with a headwind? A good attitude is probably the best. You can’t do anything about it till the road turns, so welcome the wind as an aid to becoming a better rider. Think of it as a form of hill climbing (at slower speeds, each 5 mph of wind speed equals ~1% of grade i.e. a 20-mph headwind would equal a 4% hill). Then it becomes a challenge rather than something to hate for part of your ride. Here are several other ideas:

  • Get down. Get aero and hone your riding position. When riding into a headwind, watch your computer and notice how small postural changes affect your speed. Get low with your back almost horizontal. Try aligning your head and back, but without keeping your head so low that your back is hunched. In fact, if you try to keep your chin on the stem, it actually increases the turbulence and wind resistance as the air travels over your back.Keep your elbows in to minimize your frontal area instead of splayed outward. Then bend them a little more to see what happens. Hold them in line with your body . A second tip is to eliminate the side to side motion of your head. So keep that head still and your chin 4 to 6 inches above the stem.When you find your most efficient position, it’ll give you greater speed with less effort in calm air, too.
  • Gear down. Pushing your normal gear into a wind is hard on your knees (and your motivation). Just as with a hill, drop down a gear or two to allow you to maintain your normal cadence.
  • Don’t fight to keep a set speed. Remember, to maintain 18 mph into a 10-mph headwind you need about twice the effort as when riding 18 on a calm day. Gear down and work on a fluid spin. If you are riding in a paceline, rotate more often and in slower motion.
  • Don’t wear a loose fitting jacket. A baggy jacket can act like a drogue chute, flapping loudly and slowing you down. An alternative might be a jersey with a wind stopper under it – a piece of wind proof material or even a plastic bag will keep the cold air off your chest.
  • If possible, start rides into the wind. Do battle while you’re fresh, then let the gale blow you home.
  • Time your ride. Wind is usually lighter in the early morning or in the evening. If you start your ride a little earlier, the headwind could be relatively tame before you’re treated to a roaring tailwind on the return trip.
  • Watch for cross winds.- especially on roads with truck traffic. When you’re leaning left to maintain a straight line and a passing vehicle momentarily blocks the wind, you might veer into the lane. Fight the tendency by keeping your elbows loose and upper body relaxed.
  • Pedal downhill. Your bike will be more stable on descents if you’re applying even a little power to the rear wheel. But especially on a windy day when you’re being buffeted on descents, shifting to a high gear and pedaling will give you a noticeable edge in stability. Coasting lets the wind push you farther off your line.
  • Get shelter. Pick a route with trees, buildings, stone walls or other wind blockers.
  • Keep a good mental attitude. Stay positive. Wind, day after day, can beat you down mentally. But headwinds actually help improve fitness.

Are there any drills to improve your riding in windy conditions? If you have hills, doing hill work comes the closest. As an alternative, you can find a gear that lets you pedal easily at 80 to 100 rpm, and then shift 2 to 3 cogs harder for 15 to 20 minutes – a simulated hill interval. Then recover for 10 minutes and do it again.  And of course, focus on keeping your head still, which is a challenge as you slow the rpms and start to use your body to compensate.

Article by Cycling Tips

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Shel’s new road pedals!  She reported that she gets more power in her stroke with these than her old pedals.  I was able to adjust the tension to suit her, so all is well and rollin smoothly!

You can read more & order these pedals from Amazon:

Shimano Ultegra PD6610 SPD-SL Pedal Set

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Beware the crankset

wpid-thumb-68.jpgHere’s what happens when ur tool slips while trying to tighten the left pedal from the right side of the bike! Ur forearm gets stabbed by the crank teeth!

 

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My first road bike! Has carbon front fork, shimano shifters, etc, much lighter than my mountain bike! Feels like flying!  I’m 5’6″ with a 32″ inseam, so I opted for the 46 cm frame.  I have shimano m520 pedals, blackburn Flea front light,  cateye strada wireless computer, and the forte-for-women saddle all of which i love!

 

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These shoes rock! They have the carbon spot on the bottom, so your feet don’t feel the heat! I use them on my road and mountain bike.  I’m a size 8 typically, so size 39 fit me just right and doesn’t allow my foot to slide around in the shoe.

 

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